Tamale’s Industry is one of those places that you want to bring in your friends blindfolded. Just taste the food! Don’t get all worked up about the industrial setting. In fact, go with the concept. This is, after all, Tamales Industry and an old commercial bag stitching building is probably as good a setting as any for a restaurant with the word “industry” in the title.
Besides the food — more on that later — there is the always friendly service. Francisco Tejeda is ready with a smile and a story if you have the time and express any interest. I have to say that no other restaurant gives me that same feeling that I am really, really welcome. The customer service is not the product of a training seminar and video. The Tejeda’s love their customers and love cooking food for them and this is all evident in the way they greet and treat their customers.
Now, about that food. I love tamales and this is the place to get them. They have individual tamales ($3.00), tamales by the dozen ($18.00), and by the half-dozen ($10.00). There are red salsa tamales, green salsa tamales, spinach tamales, and even burritos, tostadas, quesadillas, tacos and fajitas. I have found that the tamales are on the large side and very filling, so I order one regular tamale plus a dessert tamale. That way, I don’t miss the opportunity to eat a dessert tamale. I’d never heard of, much less eaten, a dessert tamale until I found it offered here at Tamale’s Industry. Once you try one you will be converted as well. They are fantastic in their subtle starch and fruit goodness.
I am not one to judge whether a given dish is “authentic” or not, since I’m not exactly a world-traveler, but the dishes seem very real and are obviously made in that tiny kitchen behind the counter. Inspired by what we perceived as authenticity, the last time we were there we even ordered Mexican soft drinks (they have real sucrose and not fructose).
Like I described, the neighborhood is definitely in the industrial category, but it is just blocks away from Highland Park up on the hill on the west side of Second Avenue. Despite the initial impression when you drive up, the inside is very clean. The restaurant seems to do a pretty solid take-out or order-ahead business. I have dined there since it first opened and have gone back several more times. I always have the same great experience. I encourage you to give it a try. You may want to check the webpage if you are planning on heading there over the weekend. If the restaurant will be closed they usually post a notice on their web page.
Monday — Closed
Tuesday-Friday — 10am to 8pm
Saturday — 11am to 8pm
Sunday — 11am to 3pm
2728 2nd Ave & New York
Des Moines, IA 50313